Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why Support the MHBA?

As many of you know, the Modular Home Builders Association,MHBA, is holding their annual conference and board of director’s meeting in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend this year and I will miss seeing old friends and making new ones.

In reflecting on the changes the modular housing industry has seen since the recession of 2008, it occurred to me that the MHBA in its present form under the leadership of Tom Hardiman, the Executive Director, hasn’t been around to help us for very long.

When Tom and his new staff took over the everyday operation of the MHBA it was just about ready to implode and close up shop because of a lack of support and the effects of the recession. They took on the challenge of not only trying to breathe new life into the MHBA, they began to invite builders, the life blood of the new association to join. It was slow at first because builders have never been asked to be such an integral part of something that is geared to help them directly.

Most of you in the industry remember when the NAHB’s Building Systems Council was a force to be used for the good of the modular industry. Today it is just a shell of what it could have been, almost taken over completely by the Log Home Council with modular being an afterthought, especially by the people (site builders) that practically run the NAHB. It would take years for this once powerful council to see it’s return to what it once was.

Since Hardiman took over the everyday operations of the MHBA, the member factories and builders have seen him talk with the top code officials in a lot of states about the problems facing our industry. He is lobbying for you. The MHBA is growing in strength and it’s because of the efforts of the staff of the MHBA and the growing support of modular builders and factories.

Hardiman has spoken at several of my Modular Builder Breakfasts and was a speaker at my Modular Boot Camp last month. He is excited to help bring recognition to our industry, fight the battles that need fought, listen to our complaints about the latest problems the state code people inflict on us but in the long run it means little without our support of the MHBA.

I know this sounds like a plug for the MHBA and a not so subtle advertisement to get you to join and in fact that is exactly what it is.

Without every modular home builder in the US joining its ranks and forming a more powerful association that will fight for modular housing in every corner of the US, the MHBA will never have the true clout it really needs. 

Without you joining, they will have to fight only the battles they feel they can win which in reality are very few. When you join and take an active part in YOUR association, they can start to hire lobbyists, attorneys, more staff dedicated to helping market modular and maybe, just maybe, the modular industry will begin to have some teeth when we talk to regulators and legislators about the advantages of modular home construction.

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